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Kenyan farmers urged to practice sustainable farming amidst El Nino rains

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Agricultural experts around the country have come forward to urge farmers to adapt to the changing climate and planting fast-maturing crops in the face of anticipated El Nino rains.

Amid World Food Day celebrations in Laikipia County’s Mukogodo East Ward Monday, agronomists urged the farmers in Arid and Semi-arid lands (ASALs) to plant drought-resistant crops and embrace sustainable agriculture because some farming practices may not be sustainable given the unreliable rains.

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Officer, Agneta Makutwa, emphasized the importance of using certified seeds and water harvesting techniques. She introduced a technology that allows farmers to access drought-resistant seedlings.

FAO, together with UN Women and the Korean International and Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has been empowering women in the region through climate-smart agricultural practices, planting fast-maturing crops like potatoes and engaging in seed production to ensure a stable food supply at the community level.

Laikipia County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Purity Gitonga, encouraged the use of kitchen gardens and water harvesting during the short rains. She called for collaboration with agricultural stakeholders to educate rural women about climate-smart farming.

Meanwhile, in Nakuru County, a similar call was being sounded. Agriculture Executive Member Leonard Bor urged farmers to plant early maturing crops that could be harvested within three months, aligning with the weather conditions.

Cabbages, kales, tomatoes, and hybrid varieties of maize and beans were listed as potential crops to ensure food production within the County. RVIST Deputy Principal Paul Komen praised the involvement of the youth in agribusiness, saying

“Agriculture has attracted not only the old but the youth as well. The old notion that agriculture was for the older generation is slowly fading away, as the youth are taking the lead in embracing these new opportunities in agriculture.”

Gene Gituku
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